Labyrinth Entrance - Monumental Bitterness CD
LABYRINTH ENTRANCE (Poland) - Monumental Bitterness CD (2017) (includes 8-page booklet - limited to 300 copies). This is a solo project from bass player (Hunger) of Poland's Stillborn, and for a one-man act it's got a high level of polish and production values that you don't simply associate with your stock bedroom or basement Black Metal act. Monumental Bitterness is split into six cantos, the first of which is a brief, ambient intro that seems to set up the band's namesake as it cedes into broad, patient, minimalist guitar elements and bass plucks that then assemble into the heaviness proper, which as it turns out, continues along a more slow to moderately paced course throughout most of its run time. I could dub this a Polish spin on the slower, glorious aesthetics that were prevalent in the original Greek BM scene, only with a darker mood about it that is split up only with brief strings of starlight.
A lot of the album could be characterized as Blackened Doom as it really clings to its moderate speeds, and this really allows each of the riffs to be fully felt in the listener's gut, but the riff set itself is quite broad, from eerie, winding dissonant riffs to more accessible chord patterns and captivating melodies that manage not to ever come off too sugary or positive. Vocals range from the expected harsh barks, to cleaner chants, even some effects-driven vocals that sound somewhat robotic or a murky subterranean echo.
It's not all a crawl, as the closing piece hammers down some moderate blast beats, but even then you never get the sense that Monumental Bitterness is ever concerned with its velocity as it much as it is fleshing out every moment with appropriately bleak atmosphere. The focus here is ever on the guitars and vocals, the rhythm section has its moments, but is primarily a more mechanical bedrock to support the album's more creative ideas; the few exceptions are when the drum work gets more tribal and thunderous, providing for some of its better beats.
If you enjoyed the most recent pair of albums from Norway's Svartelder then you'd want to check it out, or the more modern Varathron stuff like "Untrodden Corridors of Hades" and "Patriarchs of Evil." **originally published on metal-archives.com by autothrall** Godz Ov War – GOWP DCXCIII